Any cheese ball is a welcome addition to a holiday party spread, but when you bring one that looks like a pine cone, you're talking about a real showstopper.

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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Stir cream cheese, goat cheese, parsley, tarragon, thyme, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until smooth and well-mixed.

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  • Turn cheese mixture out onto a serving platter and form into a tapered oval shape to resemble a pine cone.

  • Starting at the tapered end, press almonds into the cheese cone so that the tip of the almond is facing out and down, and cheese cone is completely covered with almonds and resembles a pine cone. Place rosemary sprigs at the top to resemble pine needles.

Nutrition Facts

175.9 calories; 5.6 g protein; 2.9 g carbohydrates; 36.4 mg cholesterol; 129.7 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (33)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2014
My husband made this for Christmas Eve dinner. It was delicious. Since neither of us are a fan of goat cheese we just substituted regular cream cheese for the goat cheese. It was a beautiful presentation and very tasty indeed. Read More
(10)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
12/11/2016
I love Chef John's recipes but this was not for my taste. I did not like the taste of all of the herbs I felt like the tarragon overpowered everything. Next time I will try it with half the amount of herbs. It made for a beautiful presentation however very festive! Read More
(2)
43 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 34
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2014
My husband made this for Christmas Eve dinner. It was delicious. Since neither of us are a fan of goat cheese we just substituted regular cream cheese for the goat cheese. It was a beautiful presentation and very tasty indeed. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2016
This party cheese ball is savory yet tangy and a different twist on the traditional cheddar-based cheese ball. I made this for a Christmas gathering and everyone really liked the taste of the cream cheese and goat cheese blend. For the outside I used raspberry-glazed almonds and also served it alongside pepper-jelly. The savory cheese fruit-glazed almonds and sweet-spicy pepper jelly was a great combination to spread on party crackers! Read More
(6)
Rating: 4 stars
12/12/2016
It made a big hit at my Christmas party. The presentation is great. I didn't have the herbs that were suggested so I just added Lemon Pepper and garlic powder instead. The goat cheese is an important ingredient so try to use this without substituting. There's a lot of almonds in this dish but splurge for the effect. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 3 stars
12/11/2016
I love Chef John's recipes but this was not for my taste. I did not like the taste of all of the herbs I felt like the tarragon overpowered everything. Next time I will try it with half the amount of herbs. It made for a beautiful presentation however very festive! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2015
I absolutely love goat cheese and when I saw this recipe included it I knew it would be a hit. I doubled the recipe to make two and they were completely devoured at my party! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2019
Delicious and impressive! I did a taste test with roasted and raw almonds and roasted won hands down. Couldn't find fresh tarragon so used probably about 1/4 tsp. dried and I think that worked just fine. Also used about twice as much garlic as the recipe called for and used garlic salt instead of plain salt. I love garlic. Used saran sprayed with cooking spray to help mold the pinecones shape. It did make a lot! Everyone loved it and took pictures. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2017
The only problem I had was everyone thought it was to pretty to eat! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2016
Hilarious! My sister used to make a pinecone cheesball 60 YEARS AGO -although I'm not sure the ingredients were exactly the same. Sisters tasted good. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2018
Everybody loves the presentation! Guests hesitate digging in for fear of recking the artwork. The recipe is for a lot of people so you may want to cut back. It s not saveable as the nuts will go soggy. Read More
(1)